Best Rock Song of 2015 – 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards
What a year it was in rock music in 2015! We had some major acts like Breaking Benjamin, Disturbed, Atreyu and Faith No More who’ve been away for a while returning and making sure their impact was still felt, while other bands like Papa Roach and Bring Me the Horizon added a new wrinkle to their sound. And, as always, there have been a number of memorable tunes released this year.
So, take a look back at some of the best rock songs of 2015 and let us know which track made the biggest impact on you. Fans can vote once per hour for Best Rock Song of 2015 through the deadline of Dec. 1 at 8AM ET. So get those votes in to crown a victor for Best Rock Song of 2015 in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards!
‘Do You Know Who You Are?’
Long live Atreyu! The band made their return this year with a new album, and the stomp/clap rocker “Do You Know Who You Are” with its mix of Alex Varkatzas’ powerful screaming and Brandon Saller’s clean vocals struck a chord. “Do You Know Who You Are” raises an interesting lyrical question that plays out over some seriously rocking licks.
Was there a bigger return in 2015 than that of Breaking Benjamin? And it all started with the melodic vocals of Ben Burnley playing out over a driving wall of a guitars, bass and drums on the chart-topping single “Failure.” For a song titled “Failure,” it sure did enjoy a lot of success.
Bring Me the Horizon‘s sound continued to evolve in 2015, led by the new single “Throne.” The electronically-driven hard-rocking song offers a big sound with a catchy-as-hell hook that has caught the ears of many new listeners.
Clutch have done it again! “X-Ray Visions,” the lead single from their Psychic Warfare, crackles with electricity thanks to Neil Fallon’s in-your-face vocal delivery and a driving guitar sound. Add in a unique subject matter, something we’ve come to expect from Clutch, and you’ve got a full-on dynamite rocker making us ponder the powers of psychic warfare.
It’s time to get your “snap” on! Dead Sara returned this year with the ultimately catchy and soulful rock song “Mona Lisa” from their Pleasure to Meet You album. Starting off like a church hymn, the delivering plenty of bite with Emily Armstrong’s strong vocals, “Mona Lisa” is one of the year’s overlooked gems, guaranteed to keep your foot stomping and your head rocking.
‘The Vengeful One’
Welcome back, Disturbed! The band surprised many of their fans with a sneak attack, and when “The Vengeful One” single arrived, it definitely hit the mark that Disturbed fans have been missing. A slow moving drum beat, some maximum riffage, and, of course, the distinctive rhythmic delivery and power-driven chorus of frontman David Draiman, makes “The Vengeful One” sound like a perfect fit in the band’s catalog and reminds us how much we missed them.
Faith No More returned with their first new album since 1996 this past year and reminded us how unique of a sound they have within the rock genre. “Superhero,” one of the many standout cuts on Sol Invictus, gets the Best Rock Song nomination, for it’s many twists and turns — from the distinctive piano line to the propulsive beats to Mike Patton’s ease at switching from aggression to something more rhythmic all within the span of a 5 minute track make this one of the year’s best tracks.
‘Wash It All Away’
Five Finger Death Punch returned in 2015 with their Got Your Six album, and one of the standout tracks is “Wash It All Away.” Featuring a blistering guitar solo and both rough and melodic vocals from Ivan Moody, the song centers on dealing with society’s ills, from the media to politics, and praying for someone to come wash it all away and make things better.
2015 was the year that Halestorm went Into the Wild Life, and the chug-along rocker “Amen” proved to be one of the band’s bigger hits. Enveloping a little more of the soulful qualities of Lzzy Hale’s voice, listeners got an empowering, anthemic rocker that begs for a sing-along. The track builds in intensity as the song moves forward and by the end, you’ll be ready to give Lzzy the “Amen” she’s been asking about.
One of the breakout bands of 2015 has been Highly Suspect, who first caught the ears of listeners with their single “Lydia.” The chugging rocker picks up in intensity when the song hits the chorus, with Johnny Stevens and brothers Rich and Ryan Meyer leading us toward a frenetic finish.
‘The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles’
Marilyn Manson‘s got his groove back. In fact, his last couple of albums have seen him rediscover the swing in his rock sound and it’s probably the most evident on The Pale Emperor album in the form of “The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles.” The song delivers a haunting opening, before picking up the pace with Manson with an undeniable beat before truly owning the track during the chorus.
One of 2014’s breakout acts, Nothing More, showed they had plenty more to off this year with the poignant rocker “Jenny.” The song, which deals with the struggles that come with mental illness, packs an emotional punch while shifting between the opening melancholy and the latter portion heaviness.
‘Coming for You’
The Offspring surprised many with the release of “Coming for You” earlier in the year, and as of yet, no new album has followed. But this rocker with a foot-stomping beat and triumphant “Hey, Hey, Hey’s” can be counted among the band’s best works. It’s vintage Offspring and reminds listeners that the veteran band still has plenty left to offer.
‘Face Everything and Rise’
Papa Roach changed things up a bit with their F.E.A.R. album, and nowhere was that more prominent than on the “Face Everything and Rise” title track. The inclusion of a more electronic sound yielded something a little different, but at the core Papa Roach still deliver the heaviness you’ve come to expect. There are few in rock who deliver the type of triumphant anthems the way that singer Jacoby Shaddix can.
New year, new album for Pop Evil, and they certainly got things off on the right foot with their chart-topping rocker “Footsteps.” The unique guitar tone, the stomp rock vibe and Leigh Kakaty’s “higher, higher” vocals just get stuck in your head like the musical ear candy that you never want to get rid of.
Mlny Parsonz and her cohorts in Royal Thunder delivered a truly special album over this past year and “Time Machine” connects as one of the disc’s standout cuts. Parsonz can showcase emotionally raw vocals one moment and rock out with bite the next, as we hear in this single.
Sevendust just know how to bring it! You can hear it in the heavy opening of their single “Thank You” before the band pulls back and lets vocalist Lajon Witherspoon deliver the heaviness. It’s one of the heavier songs from the band and a great way to kick off their Kill the Flaw album.
‘Cut the Cord’
While Shinedown have delivered some radio friendly rock ballads over the years, with “Cut the Cord” you remember exactly what they can do as a rock band. The bass is as heavy as its ever been, Barry Kerch is hitting hard behind the kit and Brent Smith gives you the type of in-your-face vocals the song needs. It’s the harder side of Shinedown shining through and brining plenty of bite with it.
Three Days Grace are embracing alienation with their single “Human Race.” The track chugs along with a beat that listeners can get behind and Matt Walst’s vocals really drive home the ominously dark feel of the song.
Mark Tremonti returned with his self-titled band in 2015 and he’s leaving no heavy stone unturned. Though “Another Heart” is a more melodic track, there’s little doubt that the heaviness of the guitar tone cuts through and the drumming adds to the song’s intensity.